Short Book Reviews: The Hostage Bride, Chances Are & Ravished

Hello everyone,

today I'm briefly reviewing three historical romance novels, one of which I thoroughly enjoyed. And I hope you will enjoy reading the reviews too:

The Hostage Bride by Jane Feather
This is the first book in a trilogy about 3 unconventional women who vow they will never marry only to change their minds when Mr Right sweeps them off their feet. This book tells the story of Portia, an outspoken young girl who grew up in taverns and behaves like a man. When her alcoholic and gamester father dies, she goes to live with her uncle, the Marquis of Granville and his daughter. The poor girl is supposed to be kidnapped by Rufus Decantur, the Marquis'arch-enemy, but his men make a mistake and capture Portia instead. They two fall in love but will have to overcome many obstacles (Portia even joins the army) before they can be together. I did enjoy reading about how the relationship between the hero and heroine developed as neither of them wanted to have anything to do with the other at first, but I honestly found it really hard to relate to them. Another thing I enjoyed was the setting. The story takes place during the English civil war, and there's a lot of warfare talk as Rufus and the Granville fight on opposite sides, which I found very interesting. However, not even that was enough to make me enjoy the book. I found the story very cliche, although nicely-written, and I really couldn't care for the characters, which is something that always spoils a book for me. Overall, I would recommend it only to those who are interested in romance novels set during the English Civil War.
Available at: amazon.com
Rating: 2/5

Chances Are by Robin Lee Hatcher
Although pleasant and nicely-written, Chances Are is a very unoriginal story. After she was deserted by her husband, Faith Butler joined a travelling acting company to feed her two children. But at Dead Horse, Wyoming, her daughter falls ill. Keep travelling with the troupe means certain death for the poor little girl. So, Faith decides to stop at Dead Horse, a very desolate, God-forsaken place where she manages to find a job as a housekeeper for Drake Rutledge. He's the richest man in town, but very dark, solitary and moody. He doesn't want anything to do with Faith and the children (nor with anyone else for that matter), but their presence will warm his heart and teach him to live and love again. The two fall in love and then Faith's husband comes back. Overall, a very cliche story that reminds me of Beauty And The Beast (Drake has also been disfigured in an accident): poor little girl in need of protection falls in love with the rich, mysterious man everyone considers to be evil, a villain tries to keep them apart and in the end love conquers all. As I said, a pleasant, very simple story. If you like this kind of thing, give it a read, but don't expect too much.
Available at: amazon.com
Rating: 3/5

Ravished by Amanda Quick
Ravished is one of my favourite historical romance novels and the reason why I keep reading this kind of books. You come across lots of crappy stories but every now and then you find a real gem. The main reason why I like this book is the heroine, Harriet Pomeroy. She's not a stubborn, selfish girl that's interested in jewellery, clothes and getting her way all the time, like most heroines are. Instead, she's quite plain, but very intelligent and interested in fossils. When she finds out that a band of thieves is using her beloved cave to hide their stolen treasures, she writes to Viscount St. Justin, the lord over the region in which she lives, to help her bring the criminals to justice. He's considered to be a beast who seduced and caused the suicide of the rector’s daughter. This has embittered Gideon, who's a very temperamental and stubborn man (and is disfigured too). Yet, Harriet doesn't believe in these rumours and treats him just like a normal human being. She's adorable and Gideon can't help but falling for her. Overall, this too is in a way another take on The Beauty And The Beast story, but with very interesting characters, lots of twists and turns, and fun dialogues. Also, the author is really good at bringing the historical period back to life and describe the society in which the protagonists move. Overall, the reason why I love Ravished is because, although the story may be full of cliché, it is also different from the hundreds of bodice-ripping novels out there. It is well-written, quite historically accurate for a romance novel, and the heroine is a clever girl more interested in science than husband-hunting.
Available at: amazon
Rating: 4/5

Have you read these books? If so, what do you think of them?